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Why Tech Layoffs Aren't Panicking This Investor

How a decrease in consumer spending is hitting software-as-a-service companies in unexpected ways. Why The Trade Desk is thriving in a tough environment. A "cautious" view on tech layoffs. Why Walmart might join the streaming wars. A brilliant, tiny company that's not getting enough attention from investors. Plus, Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Matt Argersinger look at how companies are managing their share count, and one homebuilder that's outperformed Amazon for more than a decade. To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video. Find out why The Trade Desk is one of the 10 best stocks to buy now Our award-winning analyst team has spent more than a decade beating the market. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* They just revealed their ten top stock picks for investors to buy right now. The Trade Desk is on the list -- but there are nine others you may be overlooking. Click here to get access to the full list! *Stock Advisor returns as of August 11, 2022 This video was recorded on August 10, 2022. Deidre Woollard: The Trade Desk posts blowout earnings and we'll tell you about a homebuilder that's outperformed Amazon for more than a decade. You're listening to Motley Fool Money. Welcome to Motley Fool Money. Today, we are looking at those CPI numbers and the potential for more tech layoffs. I'm Deidre Woollard sitting in for Chris Hill and I'm joined by Motley Fool Senior Analyst Tim Beyers. Hey Tim, how are you today? Tim Beyers: I'm well Deidre, how about you? Deidre Woollard: Doing well, little hot here in the Alexandria area but hanging in. Tim Beyers: Yeah, it's hot all around the world here. But I got my caffeine, the wake-up juice is warm which means I'm ready to go. Deidre Woollard: Well, speaking of things that are warm, inflation. Numbers came out and the annual rate of inflation according to the consumer price index is holding tight at 8.5 percent. Good news, unchanged from July mostly because the gasoline index fell while the costs for food and shelter rose. It's this mixed bag but the thing that I keep coming back to is the high price of food. The food index has increased 10.9 percent over last year, which is the largest price increase since May 1979. Tim, do I need to stop eating? Tim Beyers: I think we all need to stop eating, Deidre. Yeah, this is not great and I think we're going to see more stories of people really having a tough time here because these are essentials. I think what we're seeing is that essentials are getting more expensive. I've seen this recently. I will just give you a really lame example. But over the weekend, I bought a roast chicken. You used to be able to go to the grocery store and you could get two roast chickens. If you had your grocery loyalty card, you get two roast chickens for 10 bucks. Now, it was one chicken for 8.99. It's like, that's for real. That's new. Deidre Woollard: Yeah. The thing that I'm thinking about with this too is because it's in our faces, we all go to the grocery store at least once a week. Is this going to start really impacting consumer discretionary? Because we've still been in that revenge spending mode but I'm starting to wonder how fast is this really going to start impacting discretionary. Tim Beyers: There's no doubt it is and it's certainly affecting guidance. I'll give you just one company that's talking about this. In the most recent quarter when Datadog reported. Now, Datadog has nothing to do with consumer business. It is a Cloud infrastructure provider, but it does have companies in the consumer discretionary sector that are just watching their spending. When Datadog issued guidance, they said, "Look, we have clients in the consumer discretionary spending." It looks like they're taking a look at all of their spend and their biggest buckets of spend, and Datadog has both a subscription product business model with usage attached to it. There are ways for those consumer discretionary companies to dial down some spend. Datadog just issued conservative guidance. It was still really strong but they did call out the consumer discretionary sector and said there's some caution there. We're going to be really conservative in our guidance. I think you're right to be thinking about this, Deidre. It's impacting companies across the sector, not just the consumer discretionary companies, but companies that are actually doing business with those companies and how they are generating revenue from those companies. Deidre Woollard: That is a really interesting point because you're absolutely right. We tend to think about retail, restaurants, grocery stores, the things that people are interacting with but you're absolutely right. There's all of these other impacts that go all the way down the line, which brings me to our next segment. Earnings have been a mixed bag but one of them that was really good the last couple of days was The Trade Desk. People have been saying, there's going to be this bumpy road for advertising, certainly tying into that consumer discretionary thing. We've seen Roku got walloped, Meta not-so-great either. Trade Desk is forecasting 28 percent growth in Q3. What's the advantage for them here? Tim Beyers: Well, I think a couple of things. They are focusing on an area that's really important, which is first-party data. Things have really shifted. In the case of The Trade Desk where they're buy-side for bid level advertising, there is a real interest in figuring out how to work with first-party customer data directly and build advertisements around that instead of things like cookies which are going the way of the dinosaur here. The Trade Desk, pardon me, has been pretty early on this in trying to figure this out and I think because of that, I think we're seeing the benefits of that. They're getting some more business here, they're becoming a provider of choice for a platform of choice, I think I would say here. But we're going to see a lot more of this, Deidre. There's advertising spend will not go away but I think two things will happen. The first is that it's probably going to be sharpened so some budgets will be cut. But then the budget that remains, how do you get the most out of those dollars? You might get the most out of those dollars by looking at your existing customer base or cohorts like your existing customer base and putting advertisements in front of those cohorts because you've got more data about them. You're not really trying to guess, am I in the right demographics? Figuring out, am I in the right space? I think I might be in the right space. The cookie data tells me this. Instead, I'm getting really focused using first-party data to get out in front of the customers where I think the chance of spend is much higher. I think it's targeted and interesting and that's good for The Trade Desk. Deidre Woollard: Is there any concern about the streaming consolidation and how that might impact Trade Desk? Because I was thinking about we've heard those rumors about Walmart making like a Walmart Plus streaming service. Yet on the other side, you've got like HBO Max, and Discovery and that consolidation. How is this all going to play out? Tim Beyers: I don't know but I'm strongly rooting for Walmart Plus streaming. [laughs] Walmart Plus is really interesting as an idea. It's cheaper than Amazon Prime. It has most of the things that Prime has including free grocery delivery, but it doesn't have the extras like the original programming. All of that to say that there are more platforms than ever for placing things like advertisements. I think the streaming boon or maybe the normalization of streaming versus linear TV is a real tailwind for first-party advertising where you're using first-party data to create relevant ads and put them in front of people. You want to make the ad tier on some of these streaming platforms relevant and profitable. They ought to be really good for the advertisers and that requires a different level of engagement. Using first-party data is going to be really important. I think it's probably a net tailwind for The Trade Desk but it's just too early to tell, Deidre. We're in the formative stages of this, so calling it right now feels really presumptive. But it sure looks like a tailwind to me. Deidre Woollard: Interesting. There's so much happening there that I find really fascinating. Another reason I want to talk to you today is because you and I are probably both studying tech layoffs from two different angles. I'm studying it from this office-based perspective. I'm watching my real estate investment trusts, especially in markets like New York City and San Francisco, and I'm watching what some of the big companies are doing and trying to figure it out. You're probably studying it more from this tech company perspective. I saw that Snap's doing another round of layoffs. Groupon just laid of about 15 percent of the workforce. Should we be worried? I'm worried. Are you worried? Tim Beyers: I am cautious. I would not say worried. I'd say cautious. The reason is because this does happen. This goes in cycles, and unfortunately, Silicon Valley and the tech sector broadly has a habit of spending wildly and then cutting to the bone. Those two extremes continue to exist through cycles. It really stinks. I think there's going to be more layoffs to come. There's a tracker called layoffs.fyi, which they just put in the latest layoffs, and it's heartbreaking to look at. You can see that there's a whole bunch. I would say it's more likely that the pain is going to be at the private company maybe around Series B, Series C financing, or trying to get to that financing and having trouble making the capital work for a longer period of time, and so they end up having to lay people off, and so you get real talented people that push back into the workforce. What's going to be interesting about this Deidre is you're going to have a lot of really talented tech workers, particularly engineers, marketers, product designers, people like that, who may throw up their hands and say, forget it, I'm moving to the middle of the country because I got a package, six months of severance, or whatever it is, and like, I'm out of here, I'm leaving. That's really interesting for the companies that have committed to hybrid and/or remote work. It's going to be fascinating. I predict there's going to be a rush of really talented people who sign up for the remote first companies that are doing really interesting tech work. Like, we don't care where you are. If you're in the middle of Iowa, fantastic. We'd love to have you. I can see that being very interesting. It's probably more favorable for the companies with a lot of capital right now. Think the bigger companies, and probably a lot worse for these smaller mid-tier companies that we're hoping to IPO in the next two years, and may find that a lot more difficult now. Deidre Woollard: The amount of venture capital, it was wide-open for a while, and now it's just narrowed. Like why combinator is doing a smaller cohort. There's all of this stuff happening. But I think what you said there is really interesting because, and I know you've talked about this before, is the idea that in these periods, it's like after the dot-com bust. That's when the really amazing companies are born. Right now, there is some engineer who maybe got laid off or sees what's happening in his companies like, nope, I'm going to go start my own thing, and we don't know what that thing is. It could be five-years from now, it could be 10 years from now, but is probably going to be a thing that changes our lives. Sometimes when I'm feeling a little depressed about this thing, I think about those people who are out there and building the next thing that I'm going to love. Tim Beyers: That is exactly right. These are the best times for entrepreneurship. There is absolutely no doubt about it. You can bet that venture capitalists are paying attention to this. The venture capitalists that are putting real money to work at the seed and A stages, so early stages of the company, those are the venture capitalists to be watching. The ones that are putting a lot of money or have stopped putting money into the late-stage companies, those are the ones that are giving up too early. Really those were the ones that were looking for an easy payout, and they're going to get out of the game, and that part of the market is going to dry up a little bit. It could take some time for these companies to emerge, but you're 100 percent right. It's a brilliant time for entrepreneurship. Also, if you're a public company investor, it is a brilliant time to be watching companies that are being widely ignored but still have capital. They're not just going to go away. I'll give you one that I think is small but beautiful in this sense. Like Jamf, J-A-M-F, they're a tiny little company that nobody cares about, but they still provide a really valuable service orchestrating Apple devices in the enterprise. They are not going away, Deidre. They have capital. They've been around for a long period of time. They get zero attention. As far as their earnings go, but they are not going away. Is it going to be a blockbuster over the next 10 years? I have no idea. But what I do know is that in a time like this, when things are weird and difficult, a disciplined company like that becomes more valuable. Deidre Woollard: Well Tim. I love that we started off a little bit depressing, but we've wrapped it up on an optimistic note. Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Tim Beyers: Thanks Deidre. Deidre Woollard: Up next, a reminder that just because a company is buying back stock, that doesn't mean you win as a shareholder. Jason Moser and Matt Argersinger will talk about some companies that are handling their share counts well, and some that could use a little work. Jason Moser: Hi, Matty, it's great to catch up again. Today we're jumping into the wide world of watching your company's share count. Now, this is not a metric that you see published often, but it is a very valuable one that can offer some clues just to how management is allocating capital. It of course, plays along with the share repurchases, another headline we see often, something management will often do to try to return value to shareholders. But it's not always a case of everything being as it seems. When I say that share count is not something we often see published, I mean, in the financial media. We have ways that we can find it in. Matt, I think that's really what I want you to start us off with. First and foremost, let's start with what is the share count, and furthermore, where can I find it? Matt Argersinger: You bet Jason, great to be with you. Share count. I know most people listening probably know what that means. But share count refers to the number of shares a company has outstanding. Just remember when a company goes public, or wants to raise money from the equity markets, it usually issue shares to do so. Some of these shares are held by insiders. But for a typical company, most shares are held by institutional investors, banks, and investors like us. As you know Jason, we like to talk about the size of companies a lot on this show, and we usually talk about the market capitalization, or market cap. Well, to figure out the market cap, you can simply take the number of shares outstanding, multiply it by the company stock price, and you have the market cap. For example, I was looking recently in a company called Iron Mountain. Iron Mountain has just under 300 million shares outstanding. Its stock price is around 50 bucks. Multiply those two numbers together, and you get 15 billion, which is roughly the size of Iron Mountain's Market Cap. One pro tip, or maybe semi-pro tip. [laughs] Generally want to focus on diluted shares outstanding. You know that Jason. Rather than basic shares, the diluted share count includes all stock options, restricted stock that they have invested yet, but are likely to. To be more conservative, you want to focus on the diluted share account. As to where they find the info, I don't know if you have a preferred way. I tend to go to the source. You can go to a company's investor relations site, look at the press release for just the most recent quarterly earnings, for example. That should have an income statement. Usually at the bottom of an income statement, you'll find the list of basic and diluted shares outstanding. You'll see the number there. Jason Moser: Let's take this one step further. Biggest share count, I like mechanics of that, and how you explain how that helps us determine the size of a company. We also see in the financial media, often a big headline companies love to get out there, share repurchase authorization, we are buying back our own stock. On a surface that just sounds like such a bullish sentiment. Wow, the company thinks their stock is worth buying will certainly, I should buy a too. Let's talk a little bit about share repurchases. What are they and why do companies do them? Matt Argersinger: In stock market history, it's a relatively new phenomenon and I actually have to blame Warren Buffett a little bit. If you go back, he was the investor that was writing about share buybacks and was encouraging a lot of companies like, The Washington Post or Coca-Cola and companies where he was sitting on the boards at the time to buyback their shares because he thought they were cheap and that's of course why Berkshire Hathaway was buying them. It took off. Especially in recent decades, a lot of companies the excess cash or generating a lot of cash, don't often have a really good way of putting that cash to work. A lot of reasons, because there aren't really good places to put that to work. They keep, they're not finding good ideas to earn a good return on capital. Why not buyback my own shares because it's undervalued and that's a good place to invest our money. Shareholders like it because the one thing share repurchases do if they're done correctly, or I should say if they've done in a vacuum, let's say that [laughs] they will, should bring down the share count. If you bring down the share count, that means your ownership stake as an investor in the company rises and the company's earnings per share, will go up. Not necessarily because the company is raising earnings, but because the share count is going down. The number or the denominator of earnings is shrinking, which means the earnings-per-share will increase and that usually increases the value of the overall company. It's a popular practice and one that's been put in place a lot, especially recently. Jason Moser: It feels like you have two basic ways in returning value to shareholders share repurchases and dividends. One being that cash in the pocket dividend and I know a lot of people love that. The other share repurchases, it can be a little bit more theoretical as to whether it really does enhance the value of that stock in. That's ultimately what I wanted to get into here next is we want to look at some examples of companies that do the share repurchases well, that they do them effectively. Then also look at some examples of companies that, they're repurchasing their own stock, but maybe it's not having necessarily the effect that you would hope it would. Let's start with a company that does a good job with share repurchases. What's an example you have for us? Matt Argersinger: One company that comes to mind for me is NVR, the ticker is NVR. They're one of the country's leading homebuilders. They've been legendary almost for buying back their shares. They've done it really since they've been a public company. It's one of the best-performing stocks actually over the last 20 years. Believe it or not, NVR has actually outperformed Amazon if you start from the beginning of the century January 1, 2000. But that aside, I mentioned they're big share repurchases. Over the last 10 years, they spent about $7 billion on share buybacks. It's pretty big. The company itself is only about 16 billion. By spending that money, they've been able to reduce the outstanding share count by more than a third. A lot of those billions were spent when the share price was much lower than it is today. One thing I like to see is if a company is investing in their stock, then I want to also see earnings power increase. If you look at earnings per share over the last 10 years, it's gone up almost 14x. You have a company that's share price is way up, earnings are growing, they've been buying back a lot of shares. Investors have done really well because of those efforts. Jason Moser: Great example there. One that came to mind today, we'd spoken about recently on, an episode of Motley Fool Money is Lowe's. In Lowe's you are an interesting business because it had up to this point really been in a little bit of a turnaround. I think that CEO Marvin Ellison has done a wonderful job really getting my company back on track. We know the home improvement space is just a wonderful one, very resilient. Lowe's has spent $29.5 billion over the past five years in repurchasing stock. The good news for shareholders is that their share count has followed suit. It's down almost 23 percent all the way back since 2018. They're buying back corner stock, the bringing that share count down. All year by the way, Lowe's is dividend aristocrats, so they pay a dividend on top of that. It's just really colder to hear. Matt Argersinger: Double whammy. Jason Moser: Shareholders have really been winning on both fronts there with Lowe's. Another good example of a company that's done it fairly effectively. What's an example of a company that you feel like is maybe not doing it so well? Matt Argersinger: Well, you mentioned Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook earlier. They start buying back stock pretty meaningfully about five years ago. But really stepped it up over the last couple of years. In fact, over the last five-years, they spent around 105 billion buying back stock. Just in the last 18 months, they spent about $70 billion, so it's really gotten aggressive, and so roughly a quarter of Meta's current market cap is the stock they bought back. But if you look at Meta's shares outstanding over the last five years, down less than six percent. They spent roughly 25 percent of the market cap buying back stock, but the share count is not shrunk that much. Of course, like a lot of companies in the big tech space, Meta issues a lot of shares because they're paying out a lot of stock options to employees. It's part of their compensation practices. Unfortunately, offsets most of the vast majority of the share buyback money they've invested. Jason Moser: Well, I've got a bad example is in line with what you're talking about there with Meta. It's actually, it's a business that a lot of folks in our universe love. It's a company that's performed very well over the past several years. But NVIDIA, you go all the way back to 2018 and they've spent $8.5 billion in share repurchases. The share count has actually gone up. That's the opposite. That's the George Costanza. [laughs] They're doing the opposite of what we're looking for. Here's to add, even more confusion to the mix though and this is what I found very fascinating when I was looking at both Lowe's and NVIDIA. When you look at the performance of both company's share price is over the last five years, NVIDIA is up 313 percent. Lowe's up close to 160 percent. Even with that, less than effective share repurchase strategy, NVIDIA shares have performed very well in you're speaking of Meta. I wonder if maybe one of the reasons why that is, is when we talk about tech companies. Tech companies have a reputation for really using those repurchases to offset that share-based compensation. If the expectation is already set going in, well, then there aren't really any surprises. I wish that NVIDIA was bringing that share count down, but it seems like the market more or less just given them a passes and we know that it's more or less just to to offset share-based compensation and we're still OK with that. Matt Argersinger: That's true, and that's OK. Companies that are growing earnings like NVIDIA or as Meta has done in recent years, they definitely get a pass. They should get a pass. Share repurchases shouldn't be the reason any company that you're going to invest the company because they are buying back stock or because you think the share count is going to go down. Earnings-per-share going to get used. It really still, it comes down to earnings power and those companies have demonstrated tremendous earnings power in recent years. They should get the benefit of that. I still question investing so many billions of dollars though, in doing that, if you really want to return value to shareholders and you don't have any better way to do it. Consider doing a dividend because at least an investor gets to make the choice. It's not being made by the company's CFO or the board, which may not have the investors best interests, especially if it's being used to offset as we talked about share-based compensation. Jason Moser: Well, before we wrap up here, I just wanted to get your take real quickly on a bigger picture issue. Obviously we don't get politically or on these shows, but I mean, this is, something we're politics intertwines here. It's the, inflation Reduction Act, which looks poised to pass. This is going to include a one percent excise tax attacks on share repurchases. My question is, do you think that this tax, one percent doesn't sound like a lot. Do you think this will have an impact on how companies approach share repurchases in the future. Matt Argersinger: I'd love to get your opinion too Jason. I don't think one percent is quite enough of incentive for companies to stop buying back stock. You have to remember the cost of equity, depending on how much risk are weighing, can be pretty high, ranging from, say, 8-12 percent for your average company. If that's my cost of equity at one percent haircut feels like a pretty low bar. However, I do think we talked a little bit about dividends. I do think it will cause a few companies to consider paying a dividend rather than do buybacks. If not the companies themselves, I could see share more shareholders, institutional investors to banning it. Hey, don't do a buyback and incur this extra one percent costs on our capital when you can just keep paying a dividend or pay a dividend to us. Let us decide what to do, especially when you consider there's so many bad examples and we just mentioned a couple, but there's so many examples of companies who just don't do share buybacks. Well at all gosh, we can bring about Bed Bath and Beyond which I think is fed [laughs] like three times its market cap on share buybacks, [laughs] but anyway, most companies just don't do really well and so maybe this will just be another little kick for companies to pay dividends instead. Matt Argersinger: I'm with you for the most part it probably doesn't have a material impact. It really is just a rounding error for many of these large authorizations. Ultimately bumps up the cost basis budgets to smudge. But it may, force some companies to rethink their dividend policy and maybe that's not such a bad. Deidre Woollard: As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. I'm Deidre Woollard, thanks for listening. We'll see you tomorrow. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Deidre Woollard has positions in Lowe's, Meta Platforms, Inc., Nvidia, and Walmart Inc. Jason Moser has positions in Amazon and The Trade Desk. Matthew Argersinger has positions in Amazon, Coca-Cola, Iron Mountain, NVR, Roku, and The Trade Desk and has the following options: short August 2022 $60 calls on Coca-Cola and short October 2022 $42.50 puts on Iron Mountain. Tim Beyers has positions in Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Datadog, Iron Mountain, Jamf Holding Corp., Meta Platforms, Inc., NVR, Nvidia, Roku, The Trade Desk, and Walmart Inc. The Motley Fool recommends Lowe's and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long January 2024 $47.50 calls on Coca-Cola, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc. Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off. Today’s Big Picture Asia-Pacific equity indexes ended today’s session down across the board. India’s Sensex ended the day essentially flat, down 0.06%, China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries declined 0.54% and 0.55%, respectively while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.65%, Taiwan’s TAIEX dropped 0.74% and South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.90%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the way, down 1.96% on a broad selloff led by Health Technology and Health Services names while Transportation and Communications sectors provided the only relief. By mid-day trading, major European equity indices are down across the board and U.S. futures point to a positive open later this morning. At 8:30 AM ET, the much anticipated July Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was released: The headline figure for the month was expected to fall to 8.7% from June’s blistering 9.1% reading with core CPI that excludes food and energy ticking higher to 6.1% in July vs. 6.0% the prior month. The actual numbers show that inflation hit 8.5%, and core inflation was 5.9%. With the national average retail price for a gallon of gas falling through late June and July from its June 14 high of $5.016 per gallon per data from AAA, forecasters had expected the month over month decline in the headline CPI for July. The July Employment Report also showed wage inflation ran hotter than expected during the month. Let’s also keep in mind that we will be facing a “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle when it comes to inflation data and expectations for the Fed given tomorrow’s July Producer Price Index report. Data Download International Economy Producer prices in Japan rose by 8.6% YoY in July, compared with market forecasts of 8.4% and following an upwardly revised 9.4% the prior month. While marking the 17th straight month of producer inflation, the latest reading was the softest since last December. China's annual inflation rate rose to 2.7% in July from 2.5% in June and compared with market forecasts of 2.9% but even so the July figure marked the highest reading in the last year. The country’s Producer Price Inflation figure for July eased to a 17-month low of 4.2% YoY from 6.1% the prior month and less than the market consensus of 4.8%. Annual inflation rate in Germany was confirmed at 7.5% YoY for the month of July, down slightly from June’s 7.6% reading but still above the March and April figures of 7.3%-7.4%. The annual inflation rate in Italy slowed to 7.9% YoY in July from June’s 8% reading matching expectations for the month. While energy prices declined, prices for food and transportation rose at a faster pace. Domestic Economy This morning we have the usual Wednesday weekly reports for MBA Mortgage Applications and Crude Oil Inventories from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. At 10 AM ET, Wholesale Inventories for June will be published, and the figure is expected to rise 1.9%. While investors and economists will keep more than a passing interest in those reports and data, as we discussed above, it will be the July Consumer Price Index report at 8:30 AM ET that will shape not only how the US stock market opens today, but also expectations for the Fed’s next course of monetary policy action. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects domestic production of crude oil, natural gas and coal will all increase next year compared with this year. It forecast US crude production rising 6.7% to an all-time annual high 12.7M bbl/day in 2023 from 11.9M bbl/day in 2022, US natural gas output climbing to 100B cubic feet (cf)/day from 97B cf/day, and US coal production inching up to 601M short tons in 2023 from an expected 599M this year. The EIA also modestly increased its 2022 average nationwide gasoline price forecast to $4.07/GALLON vs. $4.05 if called for last month. It now also sees 2023 prices at $3.59/GAL vs. its previous forecast of $3.57. Markets Stocks continued in their holding pattern waiting for the latest CPI print save for some fundamental stories pushing Technology names and small caps around. The Dow and the S&P 500 were down slightly at 0.18% and 0.42%, respectively while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.19% and the Russell 2000 closed down 1.46% on the day. Energy names led the way yesterday but were overpowered by Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Here’s how the major market indicators stack up year-to-date: Dow Jones Industrial Average: -9.81% S&P 500: -13.51% Nasdaq Composite: -20.14% Russell 2000: -15.83% Bitcoin (BTC-USD): -52.08% Ether (ETH-USD): -55.38% Stocks to Watch Before trading kicks off, CyberArk (CYBR), Fox Corp. (FOXA), Jack in the Box (JACK), Nomad Foods (NOMD), Vita Coco (COCO), Tufin Software (TUFN), and Wendy’s (WEN) will be among the companies issuing their latest quarterly results and guidance. At 9 AM ET, Samsung (SSNLF) will hold its Galaxy Unpacked 2022 at which it is expected to introduce new Galaxy foldable smartphone models, a new Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds. Shares of advertising technology platform company The Trade Desk (TTD) jumped after the company reported quarterly results that topped expectations and guided current quarter revenue above the consensus forecast. The RealReal (REAL) reported a smaller than expected bottom line loss for its June quarter as revenue for the period rose 47.2% YoY to %154.44 million, topping the $153.99 million consensus. However, the company issued downside guidance for both the current quarter and 2022. Revenue for the September quarter is now expected to be $145-$155 million vs. the $164.3 million consensus; for the full year of 2022, revenue is forecasted to be $615-$635 million vs. the $653.7 million consensus. Shares of Coinbase Global (COIN) moved lower after it reported June quarter results that missed top and bottom line expectations. Revenue for the quarter fell 63.7% YoY as Total trading volume fell 53.0% YoY and 29.8% sequentially to $217 billion. Monthly Transacting Users (MTUs) grew 2.3% YoY but fell 2.2% sequentially to 9.0 million. For the current quarter, Coinbase sees the number of MTUs trending lower sequentially and total trading volume to be lower compared to the June quarter. Shares of Sweetgreen (SG) tumbled in aftermarket trading last night after the company missed quarterly revenue expectations, lowered its 2022 forecast, announced it will lay off 5% of its workforce, and downsize to smaller offices. ChipMOS TECHNOLOGIES (IMOS) reported its July revenue was $65.1 million, a decrease of 19.4% YoY and down 7.7% MoM. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported its July revenue increased 49.9% YoY to NT$186.76 billion, which equates to a 6.2% MoM improvement. Electric vehicle subscription startup Autonomy placed a $1.2 billion order for 23K electric vehicles with 17 global automakers, including BMW (BMWYY), Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Hyundai (HYMTF), Lucid Group (LCID), Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF), Polestar (PSNY), Rivian (RIVN), Stellantis (STLA), Subaru (FUJHY), Tesla (TSLA), Toyota Motor (TM), VinFast, Volvo Car (VLVOF) and Volkswagen (VLKAF). IPOs As of now, no IPOs are slated to be priced this week. Readers looking to dig more into the upcoming IPO calendar should visit Nasdaq’s Latest & Upcoming IPOs page. After Today’s Market Close Bumble (BMBL), CACI International (CACI), Coherent (COHR), Dutch Bros. (BROS), Red Robin Gourmet (RRGB), and Walt Disney (DIS) are expected to report their quarterly results after equities stop trading today. Those looking for more on which companies are reporting when, head on over to Nasdaq’s Earnings Calendar. On the Horizon Thursday, August 11 Germany: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August US: Weekly Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims US: Producer Price Index – July US: Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories Friday, August 12 Japan: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August China: China Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August Eurozone: Industrial Production - June US: Import/Export Prices – July US: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (Preliminary) – August Thought for the Day “The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.” ~ Bruce Springsteen Disclosures Tufin Software (TUFN), CyberArk (CYBR) are constituents of the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Sustainability Screened Index The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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